by Bill Magargal
US Servas presented the first-time ever Peace Awards to two outstanding members, Deborah Shimkus and Carol Trible. Because both applicants were equally inspiring, dedicated, and "noteworthy", the board decided that they would both share our "Most Noteworthy" designation, thus each will receive up to $500 reimbursement for their conference attendance & travel costs, plus each of their umbrella NGOs will receive a $500 donation from US Servas in the awardee's name. Both recipients also received a leather passport holder embossed with their name and the Servas logo (see photo).
Carol Trible received this award for her long-time work with Tucson Samaritans. The Samaritan volunteers, known as SAMs, go into the Sonoran Desert to provide water and humanitarian relief to migrants attempting to cross the treacherous and deadly landscape, made even more so by the US Border policies set in the late nineties. Carol gave an excellent twenty-minute presentation at the national conference about the Samaritans' ongoing efforts to reduce migrant deaths in the desert. The statistics on this are staggering. To view a video of Carol's presentation, visit our YouTube video. For more information about the SAMs and what they do, see Carol's article, A Walk In the Desert, which appears in the August 2023 Open Doors newsletter.
Deborah Shimkus received a Peace Award for her many years of volunteer work with "Together Women Rise", a powerful community of women and allies dedicated to achieving global gender equality. This organization helps empower women around the world by providing a substantial ($30,000 to $50,000) grant each month to an organization that empowers women and girls in low-income countries. Deborah works at the grassroots level as a regional coordinator, talking to women she meets, encouraging chapters to form, to raise funds for the grants.
Due to prior commitments Deborah was unable to attend the conference, but she did send us a moving letter that was read to the attendees by Karen Morian, our new Peace Secretary. For more information about this life-altering organization visit the Together Women Rise website.